A Gwynedd teenager groomed by a vicious county lines gang to become a drugs supplier has been sentenced to 18 months in youth custody.

The magistrates’ court heard that the youngster called Connor was snared by the gang after he started taking drugs himself and fell into debt.

After being threatened by the gang, he started supplying Class A drugs and was eventually arrested when he was found to be in possession of cocaine and a knife.

Although based on real events, this was actually a drama workshop organised as part of the pioneering Justice in a Day project, which visited Year 8 pupils in Ysgol Bro Idris, Dolgellau, for a day-long workshop recently.

The aim is to give young people a taste of how the criminal justice system works and the devastating effect crime can have on families and the community.

The project is backed by North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and Scottish Power Foundation and delivered by Wales’s leading producing theatre, Theatr Clwyd who are based in Mold.

At the heart of the story was the emerging threat of criminal gangs from major cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London have extended their drugs networks to the region.

The so-called county lines gangs coerce and threaten young people with violence to take part in illegal activity across the region.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones says the Justice in a Day is an important project that helps get criminal justice messages across to teenage students.

He said: “It’s vital experience for these students and will be delivered to more than 120 Year 8 pupils from across south Gwynedd over three days.

"If we are going to raise awareness of the issues surrounding county lines, drug crime and how older drug suppliers target, befriend and exploit young people then there is no better way than through this excellent project."

Ysgol Bro Idris student Chelsea Jones, aged 13, said: “It was really good and made me think. You don’t have to live in a city to experience drugs and knife crime.

“These crimes can impact on us all and we need to learn the consequences of what can happen if we get involved in drug crime and what that can lead to. It certainly made me think.”

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